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Waterford in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Waterford

Unionist Stronghold

 
 
Waterford Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 21, 2011
1. Waterford Marker
Inscription. Historically Quaker and abolitionist Waterford decisively split with Loudoun County's pro-Confederate majority and rejected secession (220 votes to 31) in Virginia's May 1861 referendum. Many residents fled to Maryland as Southern troops occupied the town and its Quaker meeting house to curb "treason."

Confederate Capt. Elijah V. White arrived here in January 1862 to recruit his 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry from the area's secessionists. (His second in command, Waterford farm boy Lt. Frank Myers, later wrote The Comanches, a history of the battalion.) White's troopers patrolled the border for runaway slaves and Unionist spies until a Union offensive in March 1862 forced a temporary evacuation. Townspeople welcomed Col. John W. Geary's 28th Pennsylvania Infantry with open arms as liberators, after months of Confederate occupation and threats to burn their "cursed Quaker settlement."

Local Unionists, including Quakers, joined Capt. Samuel C. Means's Independent Loudoun Rangers, the only Federal cavalry raised in Confederate Virginia. On August 27, 1862, White's "Rebels" jolted townspeople awake by firing from across the road on your right at the Rangers camped here beside the Baptist Church. When the fight ended, residents were dismayed to learn that White's cavalry had defeated their protectors (see plaque on church
Northern Loudoun Map Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 21, 2011
2. Northern Loudoun Map
Northern Loudoun County, showing precinct area that voted against secession shaded light blue. Stars and blue points indicate other Civil War sites in the area.
front). Means's command served until war's end nonetheless, operating nearby in a "brothers' war" with White's and Col. John S. Mosby's partisans.

Waterford and nearby Lovettsville ("North Loudoun") remained firmly Unionist, with reinstated U.S. mail and trading privileges. In 1863, these communities joined other areas under the Restored Government of Virginia in Alexandria. Here in 1864, three Quaker girls began publishing the Waterford News, an underground Union newspaper.

"You just aught to have seen how glad [the were] to see us Yankees."
- Cpl. James P. Steward, 28th Pennsylvania Infantry, March 23, 1862
 
Erected 2011 by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 39° 11.175′ N, 77° 36.644′ W. Marker is in Waterford, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is at the intersection of Patrick Street and High Street (County Route 665), on the right when traveling west on Patrick Street. Click for map. Located next to the Waterford Baptist Church. Marker is in this post office area: Waterford VA 20197, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Waterford Baptist Church (a few steps from
Waterford Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 21, 2011
3. Waterford Marker
Portrait of Capt. Samuel C. Means, from Briscoe Goodhart, History of the Independent Loudoun Virginia Rangers (1896). On the right is the Waterford News masthead from Monday, April 3, 1865.
this marker); The Tin Shop (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Loudoun County (approx. 0.2 miles away); Independent Loudoun Virginia Rangers (approx. 0.3 miles away); Waterford - An Old Mill Town (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Waterford Mill (approx. 0.3 miles away); How it Works (approx. 0.4 miles away); Paeonian Springs Station (approx. 2.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Waterford.
 
Also see . . .  Fight at the Baptist Church. An article detailing the fighting at the church in 1862. (Submitted on May 21, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Captain Frank Myers Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 21, 2011
4. Captain Frank Myers
Waterford Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 21, 2011
5. Waterford Marker
Waterford Baptist Church Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 21, 2011
6. Waterford Baptist Church
The church is not the original structure. It was rebuilt after the war. See "nearby markers" for the plaque on the church.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 609 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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